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PDX cycling report recommends removal of bike lanes

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PDX cycling report recommends removal of bike lanes

Old 06-01-13, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
My favorite "education and awareness program" is run by the folks with the flashing blue lights on their cars. I can always tell when I am in a city that enforces the traffic laws.
Europe is positively littered with speeding cams. Imagine what 20-25 (context-specific) mph speed limits and a hundred or so cams that are randomly rotated between many hundreds of camera boxes would do...

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Old 06-01-13, 05:45 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
For these and many other reasons, I believe education and awareness programs would be very helpful. At least when educated, any vehicular misbehavior will be wanton and willful rather than a result of ignorance.
I ask again. What "education and awareness program" are you thinking of that would be "very helpful" to cyclists? Who is to be "educated"?

Can you name one existing in the U.S. that is a good example of an effective program for "helping" cyclists(as measured by any metric) that any public money should be spent on it?
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Old 06-01-13, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Yeah, I got that from their literature and maps. I'm disappointed that a certain name-caller doesn't seem capable of insulting people he considers his adversaries without roping in his supposed friends at the same time.

I actually do approve of bike boulevards (and greenways) when they are done properly. Doing them right means making the road go through for cyclists and pedestrians but not for motorists and keeping the traffic control devices to a minimum while giving fair treatment at intersections with major roads. Portland does not do any of this very well and they compound the problem by marking these crappy things out on their cycling maps.
I approve of bike boulevards done right too. There are stretches of clinton and going that get it right. Unfortunately, most bike boulevards in PDX are nothing more than a bunch of misplaced and misused sharrow markings on meandering residential streets.
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Old 06-01-13, 06:11 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
I find many motorists have no idea how to share the road with cyclists. Many are overly courteous and create potentially hazardous situations by doing unexpected things, like stopping in a major thoroughfare to let a bike cross when the vehicle has the right of way. Cars behind them don't expect that and cars coming from the other direction aren't likely to stop either. A significant number of drivers think bikes should be ridden on the sidewalk and not the road. Education and awareness would help correct these ideas, at least among some of them. A good number of drivers also don't understand the hazards of a the door zone and why a bike might be in the traffic lane avoiding them. Also, many drivers don't know or understand that a bike has the right to the entire lane and should take the lane when there are left turn lanes and can stop in the traffic lane waiting for oncoming traffic to pass when making a left turn. For these and many other reasons, I believe education and awareness programs would be very helpful. At least when educated, any vehicular misbehavior will be wanton and willful rather than a result of ignorance.
Sometimes, bikes have rights to the entire lane. As an example, NYS has an AFRAP law, and if the lane is wide enough, cars can pass you.
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Old 06-01-13, 06:27 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Most motorists are basically decent law abiding citizens, and willing to share the road. A reminder that it's the law serves to make those who may not be aware of the laws, more so. I ride in metro NY and have very, very few negative interactions with drivers, who seem to be very used to sharing crowded roads.

Sorry to confuse you, but when I speak of more cyclists not necessarily being a good thing, I do so because what may be good for society, or cities, or even America and the world, may not be great for me personally. I lived and rode in NYC for many years, and found sharing the road with motorists much easier than with cyclists. Plus more cyclists can lead to more driver backlash, and/or legal enforcement directed at cyclists. It can and has lead to cyclists being confined to the separate but not equal bike lanes the city has built. All in all, I get little benefit from more cyclists, but get many drawbacks.

There are also issues that haven't been thought through as we shift from small numbers of cyclists who can easily be accommodated because they're not a factor, to larger numbers that create greater side effects.

For example, I ride year round, but will jump on the bus in the winter if the weather is bad. I'm only one person and don't factor in mass transit loading. But what if 10% or more of mass transit riders were seasonal, riding bikes when it was nice, and shifting to mass transit when it rains. That's lot's of people, and can have a large impact on crowding. There's a cost to maintaining capacity that isn't used, and how will it be allocated, and what level of ridership should the MTA plan for?
Thanks for the clarification.

As far as commuting I am primarily in NYC and Boston. Though with some frequency I'll be in other cities. But let me address a couple of points you are making about NYC, specifically Manhattan. I am not certain of the exact amounts but I would venture to guess that by far the larger percentage of vehicles on the streets of New York are commercial vehicles and buses. Taxicabs, limos, car services, vans, trucks, tour buses, city buses,private charters etc.

So when you speak about NY drivers are you talking about the cabbies, the guy driving the van in Chinatown, the limo driver or are you talking about the couple over from Jersey for a Friday night in their SUV, or the tourist attempting to negotiate their way to their hotel and get out of the car as soon as possible?

Why I ask this is that when commerce is the primary objective of a large percentage of the drivers on the road then "time is money" often dictates how they drive. And for the buses-they are on a schedule. NYC actually has a pretty dismal track record in terms of its accident rate and the number of pedestrians killed and seriously injured just by taxicabs in the city. So, in all honesty, I'm still confused by your statement about New York drivers because while your observations may be accurate to your experiences in metro NY I am not sure if they necessarily translate to Manhattan.

As I've said many times in many threads in BF I, too, rode in NYC prior to the installation of bike lanes and paths and am riding here daily now and yep, definitely more bike riders and a portion of them are bad and a portion of them range from okay to good- just like the drivers! And the commercial ones- delivery bikes can be an absolute nightmare at times. If I've come close to getting nailed by a bike here it's been a delivery bike about 90% of the time. If its been a car it's been a taxi or a limo or a car service car.

So, for me, if its a choice between a myriad of good and bad drivers of motor vehicles and good and bad drivers of bicycles then I'll take my chances with the bicyclists.
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Old 06-01-13, 08:05 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I visit Portland by bike a couple of times per year, but not often enough to have a complete map of decent routes through all areas of the city in my tiny head. So, when my wife and I picked up a new tandem in Seattle last year and rode home to Eugene, I relied on the bike maps the city prints and gives away for free to guide us through the city. What a mistake!

First, we entered the city on the route used by the STP ride, which happened to be happening that day (although we were a bit ahead of the first riders) and were "treated" to a long stretch of door-zone bike lane. Ugh! Then we veered off the STP route to try out a few "bike boulevards". Stopping at stop signs every block for cross traffic that didn't have a stop sign and couldn't be seen because of the long lines of parked cars demonstrated just how useless Portland's version of bike boulevards is.

We saw very few bikes being ridden, but one of them was doored by a mail carrier on one of these bike boulevards. Let's face it, if people were riding on these things in any appreciable numbers, then the mail carriers, who drive on them daily, would have learned to look before flinging their doors open.

Sadly, the least unpleasant part of the whole passage through Portland, other than the truly nice trip through the cemetery, was the Sellwood Bridge, and it's not exactly a grand piece of work. (Yes, I know it is being rebuilt.) I'll also give them props for the Springwater corridor. Although it was a bit narrow for its expected level of use, if one is going to ride on a bike path one is going to deal with that sort of thing and it was nice to see a few youngsters learning to ride on it.

Boy, don't I look forward to more crappy infrastructure that the traffic planners/engineers in PDX can advertise as the greatest thing since sliced bread for my next trip through.
Anyone that's actually ridden the Sellwood Bridge would know how skewed this report of Portland is.

the sellwood bridge, so pleasant in the lane (my choice, but it's honk-ey) OR on the raised portion of the roadway

Not many bikers, a bicyclist got doored by a mail carrier (how, pray tell? actually, on second thought, don't bother) on a bike boulevard of all places, the Sellwood bridge is one of the nicest places in all of portland to ride...

very very fishy, and not at all how Portland or the Sellwood bridge rides. this is being laid on THICK, folks.

======================

Portlands plan to step ridership into 20 percent has obviously ruffled some feathers, eh? Sure, the transportation planners working on community driven plans to take Portlands ridership to the next level secretly have "regressive vision" and are "openly hostile" to bike lanes.

*watching struggle in wet paper bag from afar*

Despite the fearmongering exhibited starting with the original post, its certainly true Portland should be improving bicycle access to where people want to go in portland.

i wonder if Portlands' ever considered asking their department of transportation to work on this? Maybe Portland could try drafting up a bike master plan with the help of community input.
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Old 06-01-13, 09:59 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The day they start plowing the snow off the bike paths like they do the roads is the day I will start to take bike paths mildly seriously. Until then, forget it.
Hey, they do just that in Finland... go figure.
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Old 06-02-13, 09:25 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The day they start plowing the snow off the bike paths like they do the roads is the day I will start to take bike paths mildly seriously. Until then, forget it.
Move to Minneapolis. Minneapolis does a great job of clearing the snow from the bike paths.
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Old 06-02-13, 11:32 AM
  #34  
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Put the Parked cars between the traffic flow and the cycle routes.
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Old 06-02-13, 02:57 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by skye View Post
The day they start plowing the snow off the bike paths like they do the roads is the day I will start to take bike paths mildly seriously. Until then, forget it.
I don't live in Portland. But if I did, I would 'take the lane' on the road, with the same attitude you have about them plowing the bike paths.(I am agreeing with you, not criticizing you)
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Old 06-02-13, 04:40 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Put the Parked cars between the traffic flow and the cycle routes.
Anything that limits the ability of motorists to see (or notice) cyclists at intersections is terrible infrastructure. This type of infrastructure has been rejected in europe and its, IMO, sad that advocates of physical separation advocate for these kind of facilities in North America. Its so ironic that the vast majority of "world-class copenhagen style infrastructure" in the USA in now way resembles what they actually build in copenhagen.
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Old 06-02-13, 04:53 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by spare_wheel View Post
Anything that limits the ability of motorists to see (or notice) cyclists at intersections is terrible infrastructure. This type of infrastructure has been rejected in europe and its, IMO, sad that advocates of physical separation advocate for these kind of facilities in North America. .
Long before bike lanes were even imagined, NYC had boulevards with center sections and divided side roads. (example, Grand Concourse in the Bronx). It wasn't long before it was obvious that the only safe option was no right turn from the center section, and no left from the side road. An other situation, where a side road entered on a parallel, such as coming off a hill, was a traffic signal that was red for the side road when green for the main road, or vice versa.

Systems that allow turning across a parallel side road or bike path are simply setups for accidents, and should only be built where EMS is over staffed and underused.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:33 PM
  #38  
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I have to say I'm against a lot of the recent bike lane additions in NYC. I ride down Dekalb ave in Brooklyn every morning, which has a normal, left hand side bike lane. Fine, but when I merge into traffic to take a right hand turn, some prick driver curses at me to stay in the bike lane. Every. Morning.

The fastest roads for getting uptown/downtown on the east side are 1st and 2nd ave. These have the damned parked car-separated bike lanes, which I don't use. Even though I can almost always keep up with traffic on these avenues, I get harassed constantly by drivers, yelling at me to stay in the bike lane. (To whom I reply, "Take the FDR drive!") If traffic is moving a little too fast for me, I can almost always find a truck to draft. I never block traffic, but get harassed nonetheless.

Bike lanes basically say, this ****ty part of the road is for cyclists, and the rest is for cars without exception. Bike lanes are a fatal funnel.
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Old 06-06-13, 09:50 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Sean Gordon View Post
I have to say I'm against a lot of the recent bike lane additions in NYC. .....
Bike lanes basically say, this ****ty part of the road is for cyclists, and the rest is for cars without exception. Bike lanes are a fatal funnel.
You've just joined the bike advocacy contras. Expect to be flamed on a regular basis. I think it's sad that efforts to coax newbies onto bikes come at the expense of those who've been riding shared roads for years or decades. For me, they've only served to limit my choice of avenues to those without bike lanes. Used to be all avenues were open to bikes, now there are fewer, and yet advocates call this bicycle friendliness.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:28 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
... I think it's sad that efforts to coax newbies onto bikes come at the expense of those who've been riding shared roads for years or decades...
#1 I disagree that the primary purpose of bike lanes is to "coax newbies". Granted new riders usually accompany the addition of bike lanes but it may be a by product of efforts to make bicycling safer and traffic flow more efficient.

#2 I am into my 43rd year of adult cycling with over 250,000 miles of racing, touring, commuting and transportation cycling and the addition of bike lanes and other bike infrastructure has most certainly NOT been at my expense. And I know I am not the only one in this category so please know you are not speaking for me when you make that gross generalization.

# 3 There are plenty of "newbies" and "inexperienced" cyclists who discredit bike lanes and bike infrastructure. Bicycling has always attracted its fair share of independent minded persons, who have no wish to be hemmed in and rightly take to a bicycle because of the freedom it affords. I have great appreciation and respect for that spirit. I, too, bristle at mandatory helmets laws (even though I wear a helmet), mandatory use laws of bike infrastructure (even though I often use it), restrictions on our use of the roads. I prefer, however, not to polarize the issue to the extent others do. I believe that there are compromises we may have to make as our urban areas grow more congested and the need for alternative transportation models need to take shape. It's not 1970 anymore we have increased the number of automobiles and motor vehicles astronomically in that time, our cites and population has grown tremendously in that time and our infrastructure has remained stagnant and is crumbling around us, if you haven't noticed.

We have to make our urban spaces more people friendly or they will strangle us. Yeah, it's great if you want to weave through traffic on a fixed gear with your u-lock ready to cram into the face of the first driver that cuts you off in a dog eat dog world of road rage but not everyone wants to live in a Mad Max movie just to ride their bike to work or school. And, to be honest, after 43 years of that kind of BS in traffic I'll toodle along in separated bike lane at half the speed I'd do in the road and save my hammering for a nice open country road or a challenging twisting up hill mountain climb with not a car in sight.
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Old 06-06-13, 11:57 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Sean Gordon View Post
I have to say I'm against a lot of the recent bike lane additions in NYC. I ride down Dekalb ave in Brooklyn every morning, which has a normal, left hand side bike lane. Fine, but when I merge into traffic to take a right hand turn, some prick driver curses at me to stay in the bike lane. Every. Morning.

The fastest roads for getting uptown/downtown on the east side are 1st and 2nd ave. These have the damned parked car-separated bike lanes, which I don't use. Even though I can almost always keep up with traffic on these avenues, I get harassed constantly by drivers, yelling at me to stay in the bike lane. (To whom I reply, "Take the FDR drive!") If traffic is moving a little too fast for me, I can almost always find a truck to draft. I never block traffic, but get harassed nonetheless.

Bike lanes basically say, this ****ty part of the road is for cyclists, and the rest is for cars without exception. Bike lanes are a fatal funnel.

Not enough info in your description of the streets you're riding, to have a good sense of why people driving are yelling at you. Maybe NYC drivers are habitually more cranky than they are here in the Portland area. Bike lanes are, from my experience, one of the best things that happened for riding in Oregon. That, and Oregon's bike related laws, which, if more people generally knew and understood what they provide, would help people riding to be much more confident than many seem to be, in using the main lanes of travel as needed, and which the laws provide for. I'm by no means a super fast rider, but I can clip right along...but still, motor vehicle traffic inevitably catches up and wants to overtake. For me, bike lanes have functioned as a relatively car-free refuge I can merge into to somewhat or all the way...depending upon the presence or absence of parked cars, driveways, other hazards...to allow faster main lane travel to proceed right on past. When again the main lane is clear for a good stretch, if needed, I merge from the bike lane back into it.

Having read the Portland City Club report rather late, when I finally got to it, I found the club's reference to possibly removing bike lanes, to be rather vague. Good things in the report overall, but reasons the committee seemed to think it would be an improvement to remove bike lanes from some streets, isn't spelled out well beyond the usual 'dangerous' and 'safety' mentions, whose validity for a given location/situation can rely on a number of different conditions. The committee in its report, specifies very few locations or situations.
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Old 06-07-13, 09:44 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post
#1 I disagree that the primary purpose of bike lanes is to "coax newbies". Granted new riders usually accompany the addition of bike lanes but it may be a by product of efforts to make bicycling safer and traffic flow more efficient.

That's fair. We're of different opinions on that point, though in NYC those who've been riding the longest tend to be the ones who least like the paths.

#2 so please know you are not speaking for me when you make that gross generalization.
I am not a bicycle advocate or bicycle rider spokesperson in any way. When I speak publicly on bicycle issues, I make very clear that I'm speaking only for myself. OTOH, there are plenty of people who call themselves advocates and claim to speak for cyclists in general (including me) and I resent that. This is a cyclist forum, and I assume that readers of my posts would know that I'm posting my own opinions, especially when I open a sentence with "I think".

# 3 There are plenty of "newbies" and "inexperienced" cyclists who discredit bike lanes and bike infrastructure. Bicycling has always attracted its fair share of independent minded persons, who have no wish to be hemmed in and rightly take to a bicycle because of the freedom it affords. I, too, bristle at ..... mandatory use laws of bike infrastructure (even though I often use it), restrictions on our use of the roads. .
Whether you believe it or not, mandatory bike lane use is the law in NYC now. So when I say I think that lanes have reduced options for experienced riders, I think it's a fair assessment. I can solve the problem by simply avoiding the avenues that have paths, but my core objection to the proliferation of segregated bike infrastructure is that it reinforces the notion that bicycles don't belong on public roads. That notion justifies rude behavior by drivers who are so inclined, or in the gray area, and more important gives politicians license to further restrict bicycles from major corridors.

Again, lest I offend anybody, What I say is my opinion only, I am not a spokesperson for any class or group.
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Old 06-07-13, 10:11 AM
  #43  
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It's interesting that there is such a difference in opinion about bike infrastructure, even among riders in states with mandatory use laws - (which should be dismantled as expeditiously as possible). I've not got my bike to NYC yet, but my experiences riding extensively in California and Oregon, two states with mandatory bikelane laws, are that bikelanes facilitate bike traffic and do not unduly restrict cyclists in public travel.

the benefits far outweigh any infrastructure light city of the 1980's - times have changed, folks, the bikelanes are bigger and better than ever. The Portland of today is far more bikeable than the portland of the 1980's. Unequivocally.
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Old 06-07-13, 10:15 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Whether you believe it or not, mandatory bike lane use is the law in NYC now. So when I say I think that lanes have reduced options for experienced riders, I think it's a fair assessment. I can solve the problem by simply avoiding the avenues that have paths, but my core objection to the proliferation of segregated bike infrastructure is that it reinforces the notion that bicycles don't belong on public roads. That notion justifies rude behavior by drivers who are so inclined, or in the gray area, and more important gives politicians license to further restrict bicycles from major corridors.

Again, lest I offend anybody, What I say is my opinion only, I am not a spokesperson for any class or group.

I was a bike messenger in Boston in the 1980's and I started coming to NYC for extended periods of time and biking here in 1990. Everything that Sean Gordon complains about regarding dealing with motorized traffic the cutting off, the shouting existed before the bike lanes. The only difference is now the drivers yell, "Get in the bike lane!!" 30 years ago they were yelling, "Get off the road!!"

And drivers in places like NYC and Boston don't reserve their condemnations for bicyclists alone they yell and scream at other drivers, pedestrians, anyone in their way. So get used to it. You want to play with the big boys get ready.

It's all the same roads, they haven't added any new roads in Manhattan in decades, the size of the island has remained the same. They haven't even repaved most of the roads, they just keep patching them so their condition continues to deteriorate. BUT here is what has changed: for the past 30 years we have added 3.69 million motor vehicles per year in the US. That's 110,700,000 more vehicles on our roads in that time.

NYC's population has fluctuated in the last few decades but it has seen strong growth recently adding 2 million in population in that 30 years. The borough of Brooklyn has seen even greater growth. So a roughly 10% plus population growth.

So, if your decades of cycling experience leads you to the conclusion that things would be better off "as they were"- without bike lanes- because you fear being marginalized and prohibited from ridng on the road, then my response would be the only way things will be "as they were" is if you could roll back the clock on population growth and the increased number of motor vehicles. And if anything is going to curtail bicyclists use of roads it is not the addition of bike lanes and bike infrastructure it is the fact that our roads and streets are getting maxed out in our more densely populated areas and that will push us off the roads bike lanes or no bike lanes.

BTW, I am aware of the mandatory use laws in NYC.

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Old 06-07-13, 10:19 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
It's interesting that there is such a difference in opinion about bike infrastructure, even among riders in states with mandatory use laws - (which should be dismantled as expeditiously as possible). I've not got my bike to NYC yet, but my experiences riding extensively in California and Oregon, two states with mandatory bikelane laws, are that bikelanes facilitate bike traffic and do not unduly restrict cyclists in public travel.

the benefits far outweigh any infrastructure light city of the 1980's - times have changed, folks, the bikelanes are bigger and better than ever. The Portland of today is far more bikeable than the portland of the 1980's. Unequivocally.
If we had bike infrastructure without mandatory use laws, that would eliminate most objections among experienced users. However, we have to deal with reality as it exists, and that is that we have a choice of mandatory use bike infrastructure, or no bike infrastructure. Where there are no mandatory use laws (yet) the situation is different (so far), but the cycling community must be aware that such laws may be passed "for their own good".

For me it boils down to a simple choice between mainstreaming and separate but not equal. If that's my choice, I (speaking strictly for myself) prefer mainstreaming.
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Old 06-07-13, 10:20 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Whether you believe it or not, mandatory bike lane use is the law in NYC now. So when I say I think that lanes have reduced options for experienced riders, I think it's a fair assessment. I can solve the problem by simply avoiding the avenues that have paths, but my core objection to the proliferation of segregated bike infrastructure is that it reinforces the notion that bicycles don't belong on public roads. That notion justifies rude behavior by drivers who are so inclined, or in the gray area, and more important gives politicians license to further restrict bicycles from major corridors.

Again, lest I offend anybody, What I say is my opinion only, I am not a spokesperson for any class or group.
Do you think HOV lanes reduce options for experienced drivers with too few passengers in the vehicle?
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Old 06-07-13, 10:25 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by UberGeek View Post
Do you think HOV lanes reduce options for experienced drivers with too few passengers in the vehicle?
Not at all, but then if I have a full car, I'm not required to use one.

The analogy doesn't make sense.

I'm not claiming that bike lanes reduce the pavement left for cars (though drivers might make that claim). Nor am I claiming that bike lanes, per se, reduce my options. I am saying that mandatory use bike lanes force me to accept a separate but not equal position on the roads. This is a reduction of road rights that we all fought so hard to preserve decades ago, and therefore a step backward.
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Old 06-07-13, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Not at all, but then if I have a full car, I'm not required to use one.

The analogy doesn't make sense.

I'm not claiming that bike lanes reduce the pavement left for cars (though drivers might make that claim). Nor am I claiming that bike lanes, per se, reduce my options. I am saying that mandatory use bike lanes force me to accept a separate but not equal position on the roads. This is a reduction of road rights that we all fought so hard to preserve decades ago, and therefore a step backward.
I ask, because if you don't have a full car, you are not allowed to use it.

Just like a bike lane: If you don't meet the requirements, you are not allowed to use it.

Just like sections of the I-90 though NYS require trucks to maintain the right lane. It's the same principle as used there: Segregate slower traffic to the right. Trucks can still move left if their exit happens to be on the left, but they otherwise need to maintain the right lane.

Does this restrict experienced truck driver's options? And, if so, is it rightfully so?
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Old 06-07-13, 10:49 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Not at all, but then if I have a full car, I'm not required to use one.

The analogy doesn't make sense.

I'm not claiming that bike lanes reduce the pavement left for cars (though drivers might make that claim). Nor am I claiming that bike lanes, per se, reduce my options. I am saying that mandatory use bike lanes force me to accept a separate but not equal position on the roads. This is a reduction of road rights that we all fought so hard to preserve decades ago, and therefore a step backward.

One thing I respect in your argument at this point is that you are being specific that the issue for you is one of civil liberties. I can understand and appreciate that. Certainly that is something to be considered and discussed rationally as fundamental and what I see as necessary changes are made to our transportation system.


What confuses me is when issues like bike lanes, helmets, seat belts, smoking get bogged down in twisted statistical diatribes that turn commonsense on its ear and we are suddenly arguing about whether cigarettes are actually good for us and that seat belts cost more lives than they save.


Let's have the civil liberties discussion on its own merit. We should have fundamental rights as citizens to make our own decisions around safety and health and not have things imposed upon us. On the other hand there is what is referred to as "the common good". This is an old discussion that dates back as far as human records and governing exists.

If I feel capable and experienced enough to ride on the interstate near my home in Boston- it would be a straight shot downtown in a wide paved shoulder, and during rush hour I could easily exceed the speed of traffic- why shouldn't I be allowed to do so? I am currently prohibited by law from doing that. But if I want equal access shouldn't THAT be my right?

And heres the big question- Is that a battle worth going to the mat for? Is that what I want to spend my time advocating for?
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Old 06-07-13, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzman View Post

If I feel capable and experienced enough to ride on the interstate near my home in Boston- it would be a straight shot downtown in a wide paved shoulder, and during rush hour I could easily exceed the speed of traffic- why shouldn't I be allowed to do so? I am currently prohibited by law from doing that. But if I want equal access shouldn't THAT be my right?
In the early days of bike advocacy (40 years ago, not a century ago) this was a serious issue. We didn't have to lobby for equal road access because we already had that. OTOH we did fight for access at critical choke points, where there was no reasonable alternative, such as many bridges. It was an important issue because there were cases where previously accessible bridges were being converted to limited access freeway bridges.

I don't have any issues with continuing the ban (where alternatives exist) on freeway bicycling even on shoulders, because drivers on those roads expect free, unfettered lanes, and experience shows that even the shoulder isn't safe based on the large number of stranded cars and police officers that are hit while on the shoulder.

On the bike lane issue, I fear an unholy coalition of bike advocates and some city planners who want them, and motorists and traffic planners who are only too happy to have us off their roads.
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